Running to achieve: engaging students in literacy and physical activity through and after-school learning community

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this participant-observation study is to describe rural, southern, 3rd-5th grade children's engagement in running and writing in an after-school learning community called Running to Achieve. This study provides insights into links between physical activity and writing by using one to engage students in the other. Three characteristics that emerged through data revealed that the learning community was a place where running and writing were social activities, teacher-student relationships were fostered, and self-efficacy was developed. Motivation and engagement styles were identified and shaped as students demonstrated growth in running and writing as a result of their participation. The results of this study suggest that future research focus on the following areas: examining the benefits of physical activity in learning, establishing learning communities in elementary schools, and shaping identities through participation in learning communities.

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Elementary education